Rendezvous With French Cinema returns to Singapore for its fifth edition with a film line-up strongly influenced by this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Set to once again engage and inspire Singapore audiences with the best of French films, the 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema emphasises the diversity of French cinema with genres ranging from documentary, animation, comedy, thriller to drama. The 5th Rendezvous With French Cinema, through its selection of films, highlights recent issues of significance to the international community as well as deep personal issues that affect human relations.
Organized by Institut Français de Singapour, the French Embassy, Alliance Française de Singapour, and uniFranceFilms, the 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema will be on from 04 to 13 December 2015, featuring twenty films across four venues: Golden Village, Alliance Française, The Cathay Cineplex, Shaw Theatres Lido. Proudly supported by the Cannes Film Festival, the 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema’s film line-up includes five films from the latest Cannes Film Festival – The Measure of A Man (La loi du marché) by Stéphane Brizé, My King (Mon roi) by Maïwenn, Valley of Love by Guillaume Nicloux, Ice and the Sky (La glace et le ciel) by Luc Jacquet and Dheepan by Jacques Audiard.
The film, Dheepan, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year will open the 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema. Directed by Jacques Audiard and starring Antonythasan Jesuthasan and Kalieaswari Srinivasan, the film tells the story of a Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger fighter who decides to flee the war in his homeland. Taking a woman and child he does not know with him, he harbours hopes of getting political asylum in Europe. The film underscores the current pressing issue of the ongoing migrant crisis that Europe is facing, throwing up pertinent questions about cultural integration and economic survival for migrants across several European cities. Dheepan also bears relevance to audiences in Southeast Asia as the region grapples with the refugee situation of the Rohingyas.
“Rendezvous with French Cinema has become the platform in Singapore to showcase the diversity of French film culture. Today, through these films, it has also become the stage from which attention is brought to issues of the day that are not only relevant to France but to the international community as a whole. We proudly present Dheepan as the opening film of the Festival as it is one such film that will cause us to think deeply about migration issues and their humanitarian consequences,” says H.E Mr Benjamin Dubertret, Ambassador of France to Singapore.
The topic of climate change will also be highlighted at the Festival as it presents Ice and the Sky (La glace et le ciel), a documentary about scientist Claude Lorius, retracing his life’s journey in the Antarctic, from his first steps as a young glaciologist to the crowning moment of his glittering career – winning the Blue Planet Prize, the Nobel of environmental sciences. Ice and The Sky is an epic tale, in which science GOLDEN VILLAGE – ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE – THE CATHAY CINEPLEX – SHAW THEATRES LIDO with the support of and adventure meet. Directed by Luc Jacquet, the film tells the story through extraordinary but very real landscapes, bringing forward environmental issues that need to be urgently addressed. Ice and the Sky was the closing film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Other Cannes Festival highlights at the 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema include the film My King (Mon roi) directed by Maïwenn, starring Vincent Cassel, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Bercot who won the Best Actress award for her role in the film. The Measure of a Man (La loi du marché) a film directed by Stéphane Brizé won Vincent Lindon the Best Actor award. As for Valley of Love, directed by Nicolas Nicloux, it reunited onscreen after 35 years, Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu in a deeply moving metaphysical grief drama.
Young children and the young-at-heart will also have their choice of movies at the Festival with films such as the animation movie, Mune, directed by Alexandre Heboyan and Santa Claus! (Le Père Noël), directed by Alexandre Coffre, a humorous and emotional comedy set in the splendid streets of Paris that will nicely echo the festive spirit of the Christmas season.
5th Rendezvous with French Cinema is once again partnering with the Singapore International Film Festival. Together, they will present two films – Microbe and Gasoil (Microbe et Gasoil) and Breathe (Respire). Directed by Michel Gondry (who directed the 2004 American film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Microbe and Gasoil (Microbe et Gasoil) is a playful comedy starring screen darling Audrey Tautou. Breathe (Respire) is directed by Mélanie Laurent, who is also best known for her role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Interestingly, Mélanie Laurent also appeared in the film Rice Rhapsody by Kenneth Bi that was filmed entirely in Singapore’s Chinatown in 2004.
The 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema goes behind the scenes this year with a focus on directors of this year’s selection. The delegation for 2015 includes directors Benoit Philippon, Vincent Garenq and Yann Gozlan. The lead actor of Dheepan Anthonythasan Jesuthasan will also be in Singapore for the film’s opening screening. 5th Rendezvous with French Cinema will run from 4 December to 13 December. All tickets will be available at S$13. Singapore Film Society members can enjoy the festival films screening at Golden Village and The Cathay Cineplex at $12 and at Alliance Française at $11. Alliance Française members can enjoy all screenings of the festival films at Alliance Française at $11.